Review: Savage Girl by Jean Zimmerman

Hugo Delegate sits in jail for a series of murders he may or may not of committed.

He is passionately in love with Bronwyn, the young wild girl who was raised by wolves.

Hugo is from a wealthy family, and after leaving Harvard he joins his family on a railroad trip to the western United States.

It is here that he meets Bronwyn and his family agrees to adopt her.

Upon returning to the East Coast, the Delegate family takes it upon themselves to educate her and present her to high society.

Surprisingly, Bronwyn takes well to her new life, but she does have her own set of motives.

Bronwyn is the toast of the town. She is wildly sought after by many eligible men both young and old, but they all too frequently turn up dead….murdered in a grizzly fashion and in some cases–castrated.

Hugo’s infatuation for Bronwyn quickly turns to love but his love is more inline with obsession. He would do anything for her, even confess to murders he may not have committed.

Somewhere in Hugo’s narrative, he distorts Bronwyn’s character and he beings to question weather or not his love for her blinds him to her true nature or if there is someone or something else responsible for these murders.

This novel was gritty and unique. I really really enjoyed it. It was suspenseful and thrilling just a promised. One issue I did have with the novel though was the time frame.

The story took place over the course of a year. I had a hard time reconciling that Bronwyn went from wild child to refined lady in a year. I would have liked to have seen the timeline stretch a little longer so it could be believable.

I loved that Hugo was an unreliable narrator. I love books like that as they always set me on edge and make me question everything in the story. This was a thrilling device and it worked well in this story.

There was a lot to love historically in this book as well. The author provided two extremely contrasting historic cultures….the wild west and the elite Manhattan society. She does a fantastic job researching both historic perspectives and cultures.

The story did start a little slow for me, but after a few chapters it did start to pick up. I would have liked to have seen things starting earlier to get the audience engaged but it wasn’t overly excruciating.

As for the characters, they are well constructed and presented with lots of layers to discover. Hugo was self centered and whined a lot which sometimes bordered on annoying for me but at the same time I thought there was a lot to discover about his character. I wanted to know more about him and he held my interest as a narrator.

As for Bronwyn it’s easy to see why men are so attracted to her. She is self sufficient, smart, and independent which is refreshing considering so many women at that time weren’t.

She’s wild, passionate, and vibrant in a sea of drab debutantes. I would have liked to know a little more about her and read more about her past etc, but the way it was presented also worked for the novel.

The cover art also captured the essence of the novel as well. I love the birds and the dark, tumultuous feel of the sky and house. It clearly caught my eye and made me want to read this book. Well done!

This is a novel that will stay with you even after you finish reading it. Even when I couldn’t get to my reading for a day or two, I was constantly thinking about the book and what might happen next. For me that’s the mark of a tantalizingly good read!

Challenge/Book Summary:

Book: Savage Girl by Jean Zimmerman 

  • Kindle Edition, 416 pages
  • Published March 6th 2014 by Viking Adult (first published March 1st 2014)
  • Review copy provided by: Author/Publisher in exchange for an honest review

This book counts toward: NA

  • Hosted by: NA
  • Books for Challenge Completed: NA

Recommendation: 4 out of 5

Genre: Historic fiction, Victorian era lit, thriller, suspense, mystery

Memorable lines/quotes: NA

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